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Placing Bets and Understanding Odds


Placing Bets and Understanding Odds

In the last post we began by looking at the origins of roulette and the workings of the wheel. Towards the end, we introduced the layout, where all bets take place. In this section we will expand on the layout and its crucial role in the game’s strategy. We will then examine how to place bets and gain an understanding of the odds involved. It’s a part of roulette often overlooked by beginners, who prefer the simplicity of a ‘red-or-black type bet’. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the betting system.

Types of bet

Firstly, an overview of all the possible bets will prove useful to most players, experienced or not, and will give you more of an idea of how other people bet on a roulette table. Bets consist of placing your chips on the layout in order to select a number or combinations of numbers.

Inside Bets

Inside bets typically have much better payouts than the more common bets because the odds of winning are much smaller.

A.      Straight (or Single)

This just means placing a bet on a single number. Place your chip on the middle of your chosen number’s square. It is important that the wheel operator can tell that you are only betting on a single number, as you will see.

C.      Street

A ‘street’ is a bet on three numbers on a single horizontal line, 4-6 for instance. In this case, you would put your chip on the edge of the square containing the four or six (depending on the layout). Because it is at the end of a line of numbers it can’t be confused as a split.


D.      Corner (or Square)

A bet placed on four numbers in a square such as 32, 33, 35, and 36. Chips are placed on the intersection between the four squares (where all the corners meet).

corner bet

E.       Double Street (or Six Line)

A bet on two ‘streets’: Place your bet as you would with a street but on the intersection between two numbers at the end of the line, 16 and 19 for example.

double street bet

F.       Trio

Unlike a street where you also bet on three numbers, a trio is a bet on either the numbers 0, 1 and 2 or 0, 2 and 3. Chips are placed on the intersecting points between chosen numbers. (Note: this only works on a single-zero wheel)

trio bet

G.     Top Line

A bet on 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3: it is made by placing a chip at the intersection between either 0 and 1 or 00 and 3. Only on a double-zero layout.

trio bet

Basket (American Roulette Table)

On a double-zero wheel this bet can be made on 0, 1 and 2/0, 00 and 2/or 00, 2 and 3. Again the chip is placed on the intersection between the numbers.

Outside Bets

These are the more usual bets which most newcomers to roulette will be familiar with. There are usually places for such bets on the layout, for example an area designating bets on red or black.

H.     1 to 18 (Manque)

A bet on any of the first eighteen numbers coming up. ‘Manque’ is French for missed and is used because the ball has failed to get above 18.

1 to 18 bet

I.        19 to 36 (Passe)

A bet on any number from 19 to 36. The French word ‘passe’ was used to desribe that the ball had passed the first half of the numbers.

J.        Dozen Bets

These bets involve wagering on whether any of the first, second or third groups of twelve numbers will come up (1-12, 13-24, 25-36).

K.      Column Bets

Here, the chip is placed below the final number in a column; say 36 in the column 3-36, and usually in a designated space.

Even and odd bets or red and black bets are self –explanatory. Modern casino websites have a simplified roulette layout that makes betting as uncomplicated as possible. This information is nevertheless worthwhile if you visit a bricks-and-mortar casino and encounter an older layout.


Betting Rules

There aren’t too many rules for the online player to be aware of; but the casino punter needs to bear a few things in mind:

  • “Call bets” which involve a player placing a bet without putting any money down to cover it, are in illegal in some gambling jurisdictions; or are simply considered gambling on credit.
  • Players should not attempt to get their winning chips from outside bets (for example, three people bet on red and win) until the dealer/wheel operator has worked out who is to be paid what.
  • Also, once the dealer calls “no more bets”, players cannot alter their bet, remove chips, or place any more chips on the table.
  • Once the dolly, the plastic marker which marks the winning number on the layout, has been placed, it is also forbidden to touch any chips
  • Modern casinos will tend to ban mobile phones and cameras from the table as well as large items such as handbags.

Betting Etiquette

As with the above rules, etiquette doesn’t apply so much to the online roulette as the games themselves don’t allow for ‘bad’ behaviour. If you’re ever planning on playing at a real table, however, you might want to follow this advice:

  • Don’t toss your chips casually onto the table, rather place them on the layout if you can reach, or announce your bet to the dealer who will place it for you. If you announce your bet it will be considered a “call bet”.
  • All bets on a roulette table are considered courtesy bets. This means that a dealer doesn’t have to take your bet if there is not enough time to. You can consider your bet taken only if the dealer repeats your bet back to you. Arguments over such things are frowned upon.

In the next instalment of this guide will take a deeper look at the mathematics behind roulette odds and we’ll go over some of the more famous betting ‘systems’ that have been devised.

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